Exploring Paizo's Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Part 5
Thursday, June 19, 2008
We know that a pathfinder's loyalties are often split between the Society and the nation that birthed them. We ask only that you endeavor to keep your interests in discovery and exploration ahead of your country's interests.
—Venture Captain Alissa Moldreserva
In Part 1, we unveiled our first faction, Andoran, and spoke a little about the faction system we'll use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. In Part 2, we announced our second faction, Cheliax, and we talked briefly about faction prestige, how it's earned, and what it means for the world of Golarion as well as what it means for you as a member of the Pathfinder Society. In Part 3, we revealed the third faction for Pathfinder Society Organized Play: Osirion, Land of the Pharaohs. In Part 4, we brought you the fourth faction: Qadira, desert frontier kingdom, gateway to the massive continent of Casmaron, and the westernmost satrap state of the Padishah Empire of Kelesh. For Part 5, we uncover the final faction: Taldor, Golarion's decadent, failing empire with its fingers still gripping hard on the shores of the Inner Sea.
Decadent Failing Empire
The sun of Taldor's empire has set. It is up to us to see it rise again in our time.
—Baron Jacquo Dalsine
Old Taldor once ruled the entire northern coast of the Inner Sea, from gold gilded Oppara to the wild frontier of Varisia. Now it's reduced to a quarter of its former glory. As Old Taldor's gaze turned ever inward, its vassals and conquered colonies slowly slipped away without a fight. Andoran and Cheliax broke off hundreds of years ago, and few in Taldor had either the desire or the motivation to go to war to stop it. Why bother dealing with petty trifles in the countryside when your own political destruction is taking place in the lime light of Taldorian high society?
It's easy to forget Taldor's former glory and dismiss the entire country as a band of narcissistic fools who spend more time preening their wigs than they do defending their borders or quelling the unrest roiling within their great cities. Little do most know that while the majority of Taldor's upper crust are more concerned with this season's fashions than the well being of their collapsing empire, a few of the world's most dangerous operatives are honed in the constant battleground of Oppara's feuds. Old enmities between ancient houses have engulfed the Gilded City in shadowy violence and assassinations for hundreds of years, and more than a fair share of skilled adventurers have come up surviving the feuds, either as hired muscle or scions of noble houses mixed up in these simmering cauldrons of bloodshed.
Taldorians are decadent bon vivants, favoring rich foods, ornate attire, and jeweled accoutrements for even the most minor of casual affairs. To a Taldorian, appearance is an expression of power, and a keen sense of fashion represents a keen mind. Their appreciation for the arts extends beyond fashion and painting, dabbling in sorcery, dueling, and the murky strategies of politics and war. A Taldorian mind, when raised to ire, is a dangerous thing, and the rest of the Inner Sea is about to receive a painful reminder of this timeless fact.
Goals: Get Back in the Game
Petty differences and ancient feuds have slowly ground Taldor down from a great polished stone to a whittled nub. The key to restoring the empire's sense of purpose lies in finding an enemy to galvanize Taldor's splintered factions, an endeavor worthy of rediscovering the nation's august past glory. Seizing the political reins of Absalom is the perfect medicine for the wasting disease deep in Taldor's bones.
Methodology: Wolf and Tiger
Our weakness must now be our strength: centuries of petty infighting have afforded us one weapon – surely there is no one who can claim as true a mastery of intrigue as we Taldorians!
—Baron Jacquo Dalsine
Taldor's strategy for seizing control of Absalom lies in turning its enemies against one another. Misdirection and psychological warfare are the orders of the day. Taldorian missions involve sparking old enmities between Qadira and Osirion, driving Cheliax and Andoran to rekindle their old war. "Sick the wolf on the tiger and the hunter's work is done" is an old Taldorian saying, and the mantra by which Taldor's agents create havoc around the Inner Sea.
Check back in a week to learn more about Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Don't forget to check the Pathfinder Society messageboards as well to learn about some awesome opportunities to help launch Paizo's organized play at this coming Gen Con!
The Tavern Brawl image is by Svetlin Velinov, who may have been part of Bentobox Studios at the time he drew the piece. The guy sitting on the chair is by Kevin Chin, and is probably credited as Imaginary Friend Studios.